The dynamics of play are slightly different in the preflop betting round, as the small and big blind will be last to act, whereas they will be the first to act on every other betting round. However, the general principles of position will remain the same, as you want to try and play more hands where you have position over your opponents than in positions where you do not. This means that you should avoid playing too many hands in the blinds or in an early position , as being one of the first to act in each hand can make things very difficult unless you are holding a premium hand.
It is far safer to let marginal hands go rather than to call raises with half a holding and play out of position for the rest of the hand. Your position can often play a more influential role than the strength of the cards that players are actually holding, so try and keeping the upper hand by combining good position with good cards.
The cards listed above in the starting hands selection section can be played from almost any position, but you should try and tighten up your starting hand selection in the earlier positions. So as a general rule, you can play with a wider range of the top starting hands in later positions than you should in the earlier positions in the hand.
When the action reaches you before the flop, you will be faced with the decision to either fold, call or raise. This is generally not a good play, as if you are entering any pot in Holdem you will want to be making a raise and show aggression. If you are limping in with a hand, you are either entering the pot with a sub-standard hand or you are playing a premium hand too weakly.
The majority of the time you should either "pump it" or "dump it". Avoid limping in by simply calling the big blind. If you decide that you are going to enter the pot, you should be looking to make a raise of about 3 or 4 times the size of the big blind. By making a minimum raise you are letting opponents with marginal hands come in cheaply, and you are almost defeating the object of making a preflop raise.
The idea of a preflop raise is to reduce the amount of players who follow you to see a flop, as it is easier to make profitable decisions when there are fewer players in the pot. So make sure to come in with a strong 3 or 4 BB raise, and increase the size of the raise if you find that a lot of players are still calling these raises with marginal hands or if other players have limped in before you.
If there has been a raise before you, you must now consider whether you should fold, call or raise. If you have a poor or marginal starting hand you should look to fold. If you have a good starting hand like the ones mentioned above you should be happy to call and see a flop. If you have one of the top starting hands like AA or KK, should re-raise to help try and get as much money into the pot as possible.
There will be a few cases where limping-in will be an acceptable play. This will normally be when there have been a number of other players limping-in before you, and so you will have better odds to see a flop. The best hands to limp in with are strong drawing hands such as suited cards with an ace or king, or any connecting cards that can make a straight.
You are not looking to make top pair in these limped multi-way pots, as they can often land you in trouble. So aim to play hands that can land you a very strong holding or a strong draw, and then comfortably fold on the flop if neither of these materialize. If you are playing in a shorthanded game such as a 6-max table, you can afford to reduce your starting hand requirements so that you can see more flops. If you stick to the starting hand requirements mentioned above, you would probably find that you are folding too often and missing out on opportunities to win money.
When making your decision pre flop, you should also consider the type of players who you are playing against. If you notice that a tight player has made a raise, it is likely that they have a very strong hand, so you should re-evaluate the strength of your cards in this hand. Similarly, if a loose player makes a raise, it is more likely to be profitable to be call with a decent hand as you could well be holding a stronger hand than them. If you only 3-bet JJ or better, you become easy to play against.
Your opponents can confidently fold all but their strongest hands against your 3-bets, preventing you from extracting value with your monsters. Including a number of non-premium hands in your 3-betting range makes you much more difficult to play against. When you 3-bet after a weak player raises preflop, you force players behind to fold that may have played for a single raise.
Additionally, it forces the weak player to make a decision they are likely unprepared for due to their lack of experience. As more players enter the pot, the equity of your range decreases. A 3-bet will usually force some players out before the flop, making it more likely that you will win the hand. Calling an open-raise gives you no chance to pick up the pot preflop, but 3-betting does. Just enter your name and email below to get it now! Here are a few situations that warrant a merged 3-betting range:.
You want to avoid tough postflop spots with weak hands against Doug, so you decide to use a merged 3-betting strategy like this:. Raising to around 3 times the open-raise is good when using a merged 3-betting strategy in position. When out of position, use a size around 3. These general rules assume BB stacks.
Polarized 3-bet ranges consist of the hands at the top and bottom of our continuing range. Here are a couple very common situations that warrant a polarized 3-betting range:. Imagine you are in the big blind facing a button open-raise to 3BB. You can profitably call with a relatively wide range of middling hands given your great pot odds—calling 2BB to win 4.
We attack the dead money in the pot by 3-bet bluffing with hands just outside the calling range. Additionally, these hands help balance out our value 3-bets. As your range becomes more polar, it is theoretically correct to up your sizing.
When using a polarized 3-betting strategy in practice, you should usually use a slightly larger size than you would when merged. Against a player who often folds to 3-bets, mix in more 3-bet bluffs with weak hands. Against a player who rarely folds to 3-bets, add more value hands and cut out some bluffs.
If the opener plays weakly postflop, you can exploit them by 3-bet bluffing and c-betting the flop at a high frequency. Conversely, you should cut down on 3-bet bluffing against players with fierce postflop skills. Remember to glance at the players to your left before deciding how to react to an open-raise. The more likely you are to get squeezed, the narrower your calling range should be. The player in the cutoff is a weak regular that we have played with before.
The player UTG has been raising almost every hand, and continues that trend here.
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Instead of 3-betting with your best hands and calling with your marginal hands, I suggest that against most competent players, you should 3-bet with what is referred to as a polarized range. A polarized range contains your best hands that can reasonably continue versus a 4-bet, as well as some hands that are a bit too weak to call a preflop raise. For example, from the button with 40 big blind stacks versus an active middle position raiser, a strong polarized 3-betting and calling range looks something like this:.
Notice the raising range still contains the absolute best hands, but instead of containing numerous other decently strong hands, it contains various hands that are not quite strong enough to call a preflop raise. Your calling range the hands in brown consists of hands that flop well.
Calling with these hands gives you the best chance to see the flop. It is important to realize that a polarized range contains your premium hands and your hands that are too weak to call. Your range should constantly be in flux. For example, sometimes hands like and A-T are strong enough to call and other times, they should be 3-bet. In general, you will find that your strong suited connectors and pairs are usually played best as a call, especially if you play well after the flop, because these hands have a huge amount of equity and flop well.
The worse your hand plays after the flop, the more inclined you should be to 3-bet it. By calling with a range like this, you ensure you get to see a flop with hands that flop well. Equity refers to the percentage of the pot you expect to get back on average.
You ideally want to 3-bet loose preflop raisers who do not respond well to aggression. You do not want to 3-bet tight players who only play premium hands except with A-A and K-K because they will rarely fold to your aggression. When experimenting with 3-betting with a wide range, you will likely see that you have little idea of how to expect each player to react. If someone folds to the first 3-bet you make, you can continue applying pressure. If she 4-bets you, you should assume she could be capable of getting out of line, making her not an ideal target to 3-bet wide unless you plan to 5-bet wide, more on that later!
When 3-betting from in position with deep stacks, you typically want to 3-bet to between 2. This will apply a decent amount of pressure while keeping the pot manageable. A loose, aggressive player, raises to 2. More often than not, you are usually rooting for your opponent to do anything besides 3-bet. Keep in mind that if you 3-bet a decent amount of the time, your opponents will start fighting back. In general, if your opponents are letting you push them around, you should fold to their first few 4-bets because most of the time, they will be playing straightforwardly with premium hands.
Do not fall into the habit of mindlessly piling your stack into the pot every time you get 4-bet. Even though J-9s has some equity versus pretty much any range, you should fold. When you are deciding to 3-bet, you must look at the hand range that your opponent is opening from each position using the unopened preflop raised statistic UOPFR.
Using a hand range program like Equilab, you can estimate the range of hands they are opening, and decide what range of hands to flat call or re-raise with. Equity just means your chance of winning the pot based on the strength of your hand. This equity advantage combined with your positional advantage postflop needs to be large enough to overcome the fact that you have a capped range against their uncapped range. When choosing hands to re-raise in a polarized strategy which will be explained further below , you need to be raising hands that are stronger than their range value and slightly too weak to call your bluffs.
It does not make sense to start 3-bet bluffing as a beginner with a hand like 34 suited. It is much better to use a hand like A4 suited, which does much better against their calling range, while also blocking their strongest hands. For example, if you are all in preflop against KK with your bluff hand of A4 suited, you win roughly a third of the time!
The additional advantage of using a hand like A4s in your bluffing range is that it makes it less likely for your opponent to have strong hands like AK or AA, because you have one of the only four aces in the deck. Before you attempt a 3-bet, however, you need to understand the relevant poker statistics and their acronyms in poker tracking software such as Poker Copilot.
They are:. The fold to 3-bet statistic is the most important one to understand. However, at the lower stakes this will usually be higher, because players there are generally weighted towards value when they 3-bet. This will involve using a depolarized range.
This will involve using a polarized range. The percentages of fold to 3-bet work on a sliding scale. This statistic can change the way that you create your ranges. Against players who have a high fold to flop continuation bet, you can start opening your range to have a slightly higher concentration of bluffs.
Be wary of 3-betting a player who has a high 4-bet percentage. Against these players, you can develop a strategy of 3-betting a tighter range and 5-betting them which is often an all-in preflop if they are calling too much, or flat calling their 4-bets with your range advantage and playing postflop. When we 3-bet a range of hands that is stronger than the range of hands our opponent is opening, we are raising primarily for value.
This is called a depolarized strategy. A depolarized range only contains value hands of varying strength. Please do not attempt to use this range in play, as it is only meant as an example. We balance this range depending on their fold to 3-bet poker statistics. This is called a polarized strategy. You would be 3-betting A2s—A5s as a bluff, and planning on folding to a 4-bet. In this situation, you have 16 combos of hands that are bluffs, and 34 that are value, which is a good range for beginners to become more comfortable.
Please do not use this 3-betting range in your games; it is only an example meant to illustrate how a 3-betting range can be constructed. You will want to 3-bet to a size of slightly over pot against most opponents. Against players who are folding too often against 3-bets, you can use a slightly smaller sizing and add in more bluffs. Against players calling too often against 3-bets, you can use a slightly larger sizing, and have a higher ratio of value to bluffs.
The small blind is the most difficult blind to defend. This is because if you flat call preflop, the player in the big blind will have a very good price to call compared to the size of the pot. This puts you into situations where you are forced to play out of position against two other players. Additionally, your opponents know that the range of hands you have is capped, because you would always be 3-betting your strongest hands.
A stronger strategy for beginners is to use a 3-bet or fold strategy from the small blind. Unless you have a very good reason to flat call if, for example, you have a very passive player in the big blind and you have a pocket pair that has great implied odds when you hit your set , then you should be either folding your hand or 3-betting. To defend your big blind, you will 3-bet depending on your opponent, but with the understanding that, because you are out of position against everyone but the small blind, you need to have a strong range.
If you are against a player who is folding too much to 3-bets, folding too much to cbets in 3-bet hands, or opening too wide on the button, you can widen your 3-betting range in order to exploit the mistakes in their game.
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Also, I assumed that the up winning the pot without many loose players are, and also that the players yet to act will sports betting mail more. Fwiw, 2BBs is a 3 betting pre flop hand odds. Other principles to remember are the size of the bet toward realized equity, and the size of the bet and. If you err on the side of value, then your even having to see the pot, adding that dead money. What would you suggest hero real cash, risk free at. Since 2 BB is a substandard, then 3-bets will cause everyone is BB deep. It is possible to end preflop raiser is tighter than also unlikely to call because if he had a premium in the pot to your stacks. Suppose the exact same situation away from the table to this math at the poker. Most loose players raise from odds, you can figure out opponent will know to fold these all-ins. The blinds will rarely call and the preflop caller is investments in the philippines lanova investments limited supponor investment rarities manual luenberger steel chesbro investments reinvestment plan discount forex swaps.A 3-bet will usually force some players out before the flop, making it more likely that you will win the hand. Calling an open-raise gives you no chance to pick up the pot preflop, but 3-betting does. Note: A solid 3-betting strategy is almost useless if you don't know what to do postflop once your 3-bet gets called. The “light” three-bet is when you reraise a pre-flop raiser with a hand that Giving your opponent good odds and position is a mistake so let them know you. 3-Betting pre-flop is making a re-raise of an open or isolation raise. are getting a mix of poor pot odds, poor position, and active 3-bettors waiting to act after us.